This last weekend, we say deer after deer piling into a Soybean field to our west and I couldn't explain it. One explanation I received was that since it had been so wet and raining all day, the moisture softened up the beans and the Deer went for them.
What say you all? Have I just had a wrong assumption all these years or has the really moist fall changed their preference, or is there another explanation.
Junior - I have always thought the same.
APauls - Maybe that is the case, usually beans are out by now.
As we aall know whitetails love beans like no other. The only time (in west central MN) that they don't go to them as the preffered food source is when the leaves start yellowing and the beans are still wet and chewy. This is about a three week window on my land.
So, I overseed brassicas into the beans right AFTER a rain. then I run my four wheeler down the rows (30" rows on my farm) to get good seed to soil contact. Then fertilize in 4-6 weeks right BEFORE a rain. Then early September, I overseed winter rye and winter oats to create the "bowhunters buffet!"
works incredibly well!
Hope this might provide some insight!
What seems to the most common thread regarding when deer eat and don't eat soybeans is the availability of other high-protein food sources.
This year here in MN, we've had a lot of rain that has kept farmers from harvesting soybeans and instead the farmers have been in the corn early. This is the opposite of the usual harvest order, usually, soybeans are the first to go, but soybean pods will actually soak up moisture, so this year the corn in many areas was dry before the beans.
So if the corn in an area gets harvested, the next best food available is often soybeans if the deer can find them and this year there are a lot of bean fields left untouched so far.
My farm is in an area in MN where the corn is grown to be silage cut. As soon as the forage harvesters got done with the corn in my section, the deer moved in and attacked the soybeans with a vengeance. The ate everything because the forage soybeans have protein in the leaves and stalks as well.